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August 2014 Club News

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How a BMW should look

By Guy Davies

Now I believe that my perfect motorcycle project is complete, and I am happy with how she turned out.
It was time to move from my reliable old Honda 900 Boldor’s and into the much read about Airhead. Whilst I have doubts about a lot of modern day Harley riders, I can understand their attraction to the machine. Non Japanese, been there from the beginning, a certain simplicity? maintained a classic look and feel that has stood the test of time.

Manufacturers that can claim all that, are very very few indeed. Flat head, Knuckle, Pan, Shovel, even Evolution, not for me, I also demand... straightforward reliability. That leaves me with very little choice, but thankfully all my bike requirements were encapsulated into one such machine. The 81-84 R100 seemed to be the pick of the Airhead crop.

Original ex German police ‘81 R100TIC.
Soon after flew to Melbourne, returned upon my black 82 R100, learnt a lot about it, too original a machine to chop up, so a year later flew to Melbourne again and rode back an 81 R100TIC, an ex-German police bike, huge RT fairing, hatch on tank, complete with little black police  box behind, and just under 10,000 original k’s. Not being the greatest mechanic (at all) I thoroughly enjoyed being able to easily understand how this thing operated throughout the various stages of myself pulling it apart and reassembling.

Some tips from Dave Munro, though most of my basic required knowledge was obtained from Vince Radice. A bit of a tart here, lately been dropping in to see Thorsten in Myaree, very handy having “Munich Motorcycles” as his neighbour for bits n pieces as well.

Was extremely happy with the complete project, phase 1... took her on a few good rides, even did a lap of the country, 17,000 faultless K’s in five weeks.

For some reason, the old slash 5 and 6 fuel tank, especially with police hatch, to me, screams out classic BMW, so ordered one from Motorworks England, a few easy mods and it fitted. This left a decent gap between the tank and seat which would have been for me, a difficult fix, this was the excuse that I needed to go ahead and fit a much wanted classic looking saddle seat which I knew would be at home with that tank with big finned pots sticking out below.

Some basic welding, zip ties, and all was go, now for everyday use med size panniers that suited the look (you need to be able to carry stuff!) the M19 50 cal ammo box was the obvious choice (yeah... true) easy to fit, and looks great. I had one already, but throughout all Australia I could not easily obtain another, so made one out of two M21A ammo boxes which have the same length/width profile.

I liked the look, though was not too sure what to do behind the seat, John suggested a wooden rack...yes I thought a basic aluminium subframe, then off to Bunnings for a 40mm wide piece of jarrah, didn’t take long to make up, have a pillion pad made that drops onto the rack, works well and looks good, all in all, am very happy with the end result.  

2023 is getting closer, I know what BMW should do to mark this centenary... give the “technology saturated” peoples back what they used to have!
The RNineT, a beautifully made machine, though as Cookie mentioned it is not really a practical machine, certainly won’t obtain cult status within the motorcycle world, and will soon be forgotten. I believe for that occasion, bring back the duel shock R100 with slash 5 tank and hatch, with variable easily fitted custom options ie; dual seat, single seat, saddle seat, wooden rack (why not?) cool looking practical everyday, or touring panniers, and in one colour only...traditional BMW black.

Guy’s perfect bike.The people are now yawning at all these Harleys that seem now to be everywhere, even the show “Southpark” has had a comical dig at them. The market is wide open for this long-running reliable pushrod classy classic to step into. It's a machine that everyone can feel comfortable being seen upon. Would be so easy/cheap to recreate with modern refinements added, be the perfect stamp to mark the occasion, lets face it... this is the motor that created and was for many years BMW. The marketing of this machine would be easy and so much fun, could become a cult classic even before hitting the floor.

I am sure that there would be plenty of excuses as to why this can’t happen... that's today’s world.

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